Our family celebrated a huge milestone... Ella turned ten on June 8,2011. It was a big event that we decided to mark with a trip alone with me. Jason and I puzzled a long time over the right place to take her. We had several really neat spots in mind, but in the end, the Lord knew just where he wanted us.
We decided to visit our dear friend Mary Jett in Williamsburg, Virginia. Not only is it a beautiful setting with lots of fun things to do; there were two amazing older young ladies for Ella to enjoy.
I picked Ella up from school and we headed North. We were so excited. We played loud music and found some Mexican food to start our journey. On the way to Virginia, I made clear our weekend was for fun, but it was also to talk about Ella growing into a young lady. I cannot tell you the joy of a weekend of focused attention on Ella.
But the neat thing, it was not just my attention, but the attention of Mary and her roommate Annette that made the weekend so special. Ella laughed hard, tried new things, and enjoyed herself to the fullest. We went to Busch Gardens, where I nearly had to be carried out from the heat, and we also went to Water Country USA. I think that was the favorite of us both. We also spent a mellow day shopping and catching a movie. We ended our trip attending the worship service with Mary and Annette. Truly it was one of the best services I have ever attended. I simply cried through the entire service. I will save that for another post. It was such an amazing service, one that I wish Jason could have seen. We have talked for years about worship, and I really think he would have loved what the Lord is doing at Grace Covenant in Williamsburg.
Truly the weekend was amazing. Ella and I had great time together. She was excited and mature about the adult topics we discussed. She loves Jesus, and I see her desire to follow him in her own way. What a gift to have such a daughter.
Ella was surprised by her trip. Harper and Lake are already putting in orders for their trips. Harper asked if she could take hers when she turn 7, and Lake said he's going hunting on his trip. Moments like these cause me to rejoice in my children growing older. It's such a treat to be a mama to these sweet babies!
I really think this age was the right time to have important talks with Ella. She was mature discussing relationships, sex, friendships, and what kinds of things will come her way as a young lady. We talked about the temptation she will face to distance herself from Jason and I, and the importance of choosing friendships wisely.
Kindness is something we spend a lot of time discussing as a family. It's hard work, it costs a lot, but the value of a soft tender heart is priceless. But not kindness for show, kindness that understands the love and kindness shown to us from the Lord. I see that deepening in my daughter. It's a daily challenge for us all. I would recommend to any parent to look at ten as a milestone to celebrate. More than that, I hope we all look for intentional moments with our children. Time is fleeting, and what we do with it is important. I do not want to regret moment missed!